Sunday, November 8, 2009

Standing Out

Today's sermon touched on the point that, as Christians, we should not blend in with the rest of the world. We should stand out.

After our worship service, we dismiss to small groups where we discuss the morning's message. So we talked about it. Yes, everyone agreed. We should not blend in. Yes, we all agreed, Christians should look different.

But we never exactly pinpointed HOW that looks. I wondered at lunch to S how many folks would go home and think hard about that message this morning. How many folks, do you think, will go home and question their family's decisions? I wondered because right after the sermon I passed several of our teens at church who have piercings in their face and the latest fashions on. I wondered because of the things I see on people's Facebook pages.

It's not just about outward appearance, I know. Oh there is so much to think about. This topic is near and dear to my heart as it's what this blog is ABOUT.

I've told this story before, but years ago I watched one of the first specials about the Duggar family on TV. I was pretty impressed and curious about this family. I began reading and poking around online and what impressed me the most was......for every decision in their lives, they had a scripture to back it up. This interested me. Most people, including us at the time, live their lives pretty much like everyone around them, except they read their Bible and go to church.

So I began praying for God to change our family to how He wanted us to be. I talked to S about it too. We decided that, other than where we spent our time on Sundays.....we weren't too different than any other young family. Sure, there were all the things we didn't do.....we didn't drink, or smoke, or cuss, or go to bars. But did we stand out? Were we really living like we were different? Were we just reading God's word for encouragement, or using God's word to base our decisions on? Big difference.

Since that time, oh my word, I have re-thought (or rather thought-for-the-first-time) many, many things. How should I wear my hair? How should I dress? What does modesty mean? How should I treat my husband? What are my responsibilities as a parent? As a wife and mother, what would God have me to do? Who should be training and teaching our children? What hobbies should we have? What should we watch on TV? What music should we listen to? How should we treat others?

Oh I know I'm not listing everything there (feel free to throw some more things out in the comments) but the point is, the way we were living, and expected to live in the future.....changed. When we considered God first, decisions were different.

If you had asked me a few years ago, I would have told you our kids would go to school (hopefully not in full-time daycare before they started), date, graduate, go to college, get married, etc. And us? We would work until we paid off the college and then work toward retirement.

That plan is pretty much shot now. Thankfully, God has set us on a different path. We cannot honestly tell you what will happen in a few years, but we know that the Lord's will comes first. And I know we have been blessed by the changes in our life.

So what do you say? How should Christians stand out from the world. Surely it's more than just an internal change. And yes, I understand that the Lord is the one who makes us new---we cannot just "decide" to change our lives. But when we are living in obedience to do we then stand out? What do you say?


  1. This weekend, our pastor preached on something along the same lines. He equated our desire to follow God to taking a trip to Disneyland. He said we can want to go to Disneyland so very badly. We can pack for the trip. We can buy the tickets. We can fill up the gas tank. We can even pray for protection on our trip. But, if we take the highway headed north instead of the highway headed west, we won't ever get there no matter how good our intentions are because we are following the wrong path.

    Likewise, we could want to follow God unconditionally. We could want the best marriage God has in mind for us. We could want to raise our children so that they will desire and have a personal relationship with the LORD. We could want to have financial freedom and the ability to give freely of our treasures. We could want..... the possibilities are endless. But, no matter how good our intentions are, if we are not diligently following His Word (the right path), we will be heading north and never get there.

    Hence the necessity for change... and revisions. :) Like you, our "plans" for our family have been shot as well. But there is no place we would rather be. Mind you, we have a long ways to go, but we are sure enjoying the blessings He has rewarded us with for becoming obedient to Him.

  2. I was just thinking about this today as well. I have so much to say about this I can't possibly put it into a detailed comment form right now.

    But I will say this, many times, as Christians we can't see the forest for the trees and the solution can be the easiest ways. I also believe that we restrict "our standing out to other's" by not using our voices. Too often we sit back and allow things to go on without showing ourselves to be children of God.
    Great post B ~

  3. This was good. And I like that you pointed out the fact that it isn't JUST about outward appearance, though that is certainly part of it.

    I kept finding myself thinking about this verse as I read your post: "Love one another as I have loved you. By this all men will know that you are my disciples."

    With the selfish, callous world we are surrounded by, what better way to stand out than to walk in genuine love? Even in most churches it is sorely lacking, you know?

  4. I am in agreement with Terry. (And Karly. And Giovanna...)that we need to stand out in behavior/actions. Saying something when we ought to, loving one another (including those who are nowhere near putting their faith in Christ) in patience and love, raising our kids by deed and not only word, caring when no one else does...

    We just talked about this at a Deaf Women's Fellowship. Keeping the unity of the Spirit...women can have more issues with that. If we all work on glorifying God first and foremost, it goes a long way to keeping unity.

    And I think that would make us stand our for sure.

  5. i say - you, brenda, stand out. it's why we're drawn to you and want to be friends with someone we may very well never meet on this side. because, i know, someday we will. thanks for shining!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)